When people leave Stanton, they are typically talked about bashed gossiped about slandered from the pulpits of Stanton churches. Preachers, teachers, and evangelists are all fond of characterizing these former members as “fallen away.” One phrase at least one preacher is fond of using is that leaving the church is like taking a “swan dive into hell.”
Have some people, upon leaving Stanton, truly taken a “swan dive into hell” and chosen to be separated from God? Oh yeah. No doubt about it. Stanton exudes overplayed confidence that it is the only receptacle for one to plug into God. So many who leave Stanton do so just to give up on God and dive headlong into darkness. And why not? In practical terms, their experience is that you can’t live WITH Stanton, but you are also made to believe that you can’t live forever WITHOUT them. So why not just give up and succumb to the world’s temptations?
People leave, often knowing deep in their heart that what they saw was wrong. But they were so convinced that God could not exist anywhere else that they quickly plunged into self-destructive beliefs and behavior. While some come back from that brink, others don’t.
Stanton, of course, blames the victim. Certainly, everyone is responsible for their own decisions. But a fair amount of blame lies in Stanton’s own narcissistic view of itself as the only group of humans through which one can “access the blood of Christ,” as they like to say. Pretty haughty, if you ask me, and certainly not scripturally defensible.
While the “swan dive into hell” is no doubt meant to be a motivating metaphor, evoking a powerful visual and emotional response of fear, it is also meant to reinforce that STANTON = HEAVEN, and ANYWHERE ELSE = HELL. As this blog has attempted to lay out clearly, scripturally, and factually, this does not comport with reality. Stanton has no monopoly on truth, as I’ve shown clearly here in these pages. In fact, Stanton has perfected the art of speaking Biblical UNTRUTH with such supreme confidence that they can really sound convincing.
In classic irony, it turns out the person leaving is not always the one taking the “swan dive into hell.” But the person staying can be. I’m not prejudging those who are still in Stanton’s grip, or even attending in a state of silent dissent. I do believe there are some true believers within Stanton’s midst, and it’s you I’m most concerned about.
But it’s the person who teaches what they know to be false that may very well be taking that swan dive into hell for deceiving people intentionally. Believe me, there are many intelligent and Biblically literate teachers, preachers, and evangelists in the church who know that what they are teaching is blatantly false.
But is God’s grace big enough to cover their sin? That’s the question. Of course, my answer is yes—if they choose to acknowledge it, and repent of it. I’d like to have a few more brothers and sisters in Christ who are willing to renounce the church’s “swan dive into hell.”